The Fujica GL690 Professional at the Cemetery

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by John Seaman, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. The Fujica GL690 Professional is often referred to as the Texas Leica because of its size. It has a Fujinon 100mm F/3.5 lens, which is interchangeable, and the camera has a blind at the focal plane shutter position, to enable the lens to be changed with film present. Later versions had fixed lenses and were consequently much simpler, and lighter. There are two shutter buttons, on top and on the front. It's said that these were designed for photographing tour groups in Japan. It's quite easy to use, advancing the film requires two strokes of the lever. A bit of a change from peering at faint frame numbers through red windows.


    I acquired it a couple of years ago but I'm sorry to say I've only run one film through – at Welford Road Cemetery in Leicester. These were done with the 72mm Yellow filter from a Photosniper outfit. I also rather stupidly bought a petal lens hood, which I quickly discarded as it blocked half the view. I can't remember what film was used. I mounted the camera on a tripod and used a remote release, but I think I would have been OK hand holding on a bright but cold early spring day. The negatives were developed commercially, and scanned on my Epson 4870 flatbed. Here are five of the eight shots (seven actually as I somehow lost the first frame).






    That's it for now and thank you for looking.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
    LMar, Ricochetrider, m42dave and 7 others like this.
  2. Looks great John. I have a camera just like it and I just learned that user LMar has one as well. We need a dedicated GL690 forum What camera(s) are you using this weekend?

    I got mine in Japan 10-12 years ago when they were still fairly inexpensive because of the unglamorous associations they evoke among Japanese photographers.
    The front lens is recessed far enough that I've never felt I needed a hood.
    I prefer to use it handheld as the weight provides plenty of stability, and the shutter is whisper quiet (this is not a Pentax 67).
    In the beginning I thought that I had bought a defective sample, as the shutter release would sometimes jam. It turned out to be a quirk by design. Although it is possible to forward the film with many partial strokes, one stroke MUST go all the way, otherwise the shutter release will be blocked - or rather the shutter is not fully tensioned and you'll have to remove the lens to tension the shutter.
    LMar and cameragary like this.
  3. My big chunky Fujica GL690 with 100/3.5 AE lens produced some memorable images from the Australian Blue Mountains. And later I used the modern versions (GSW690 and GW690) for landscape work. All amazing optics that produce large format like quality in a relatively easy to use package.

    [​IMG]Rock formation in canyon by Zheng, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Empress waterfall overview by Zheng, on Flickr
  4. Wonderful quality, John, as could be expected from such a fine lens married to a large negative. I really should devote more time to medium format...Thanks for an enjoyable post.
  5. Thanks for the comments and suggestions, always appreciated.
    I wouldn't normally have bothered with a hood, except that I was using a filter.

    That's stunning work Bruce. Makes me feel lazy.
    I should devote more time to film photography, Rick!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  6. Dang. That is a nice camera and

    it must really be good "since it takes such good pictures". ;)
    Bettendorf and AJG like this.
  7. Mine must be broken then. It doesn’t take good pictures.
    Bettendorf and AJG like this.

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